by Lesley Cornish
We were on an HO duty in March, and on our way down Kubu when the call came through that there were lions on Kubu, and could the HO’s check the sighting out. We said we would. It was the usual thing: look for the cars, not lions, and the lions were obviously mobile, because the cars were slowly moving southwards. Initially, we could not see the lions, because the grass was long. When we could see them, we could see that they about 200mt. from the road, and moving parallel to it.
This went on for a short time, and they were coming closer to Kubu Pan. Then we noticed three white rhino heading northwards, probably bound for Kubu Pan.
“This is going to be interesting”, we thought, and waited, while keeping an eye on the visitors. For once, we though the lions might be about to behave badly, while the visitors were not. Yes, the three young lions (a male and two females) started stalking the rhino, and the females seemed to have a better idea about being hidden. Do we call the Rhino Protection Unit? I was getting prepared to bang on the car door loudly to frighten the rhino if we had to… We watched, and the two groups of mammals got closer. Then the lions got behind the rhinos…
The rhinos got to the pan first, and we realised that we could not see either lioness. Were they getting into position? Or did they sensibly duck out?
The rhinos drank and were hanging about, but they were not relaxed. Nor were we; they were between us and the lions (where WERE the lionesses?). I thought that if the lion(s) spooked the rhinos, there was a good chance that they would run away to the road, and possibly flatten us or another car (which would NOT look good on either the HO report nor our car insurance claim…). I think this thought had crossed everyone else’s mind too, because there were nice large gaps between the cars, so that the rhinos could get through…. The young male was not very subtle about his stalking…
We could see the young male getting closer, and eventually he hid himself.
The rhinos were still at the pan, and they even formed the defensive position of bums inwards, and horns outwards….
Then they broke ranks and trotted off between the cars. The young male came out, just looked after them, then sauntered back into the grass.
Soon after, we saw the young lionesses; they were MUCH further south than we had last seen them, and we never did work out what they had been doing….